10 ways IT can improve employee retention in retail

Employee retention is a challenge for almost every organisation, with 87% citing it as one of their top objectives. It is especially a challenge for those within the retail industry, which employs nearly three million people. It is the UK’s largest private sector employer. Living in a world of ever-changing and evolving technology, there are accessible technology services out there to boost value, productivity and morale in employees.

Close up of a supermarket checkout to illustrate employee retention thanks to IT in retail.

attract and retain the best staff in retail

Organisations are striving to create a workplace with motivated and enthusiastic employees. This can have a direct and positive impact on a business’s performance. Employees want to feel that they are connected and their opinion matters. But how can IT help to improve employee retention in retail?

1. Improve collaboration

Groupware, bring-your-own-device (BYOD) and virtual communication software, such as e-mail, Skype and market-leader Yammer, allow teams and groups to collaborate. Even when staff are located in different retail stores, they are able to easily connect. This helps to improve overall efficiency and productivity.

2. Encourage feedback

With the use of web application platforms such as SharePoint, retail employees are able to provide anonymous feedback to their employer by filling in suggestion boxes and surveys. Cloud-based apps allow employees to access these feedback tools from anywhere outside their usual place of work. Employers can then use this feedback information to improve the current culture and environment their staff work in.

3. Quicker, faster technology

Employees who are given the latest technology feel that they are trusted, resulting in jobs getting done faster and to higher standards. In the retail industry, new and up-to-date cash registers and tablets provide employees with the tools to get their job done without any technology glitches, which can inevitably cause frustration.

4. Work flexibility

Enterprise mobility is becoming more and more popular with organisations every day. Cloud gives employees the opportunity to be flexible, whilst still being productive. Apps, documents and data can be accessed via the internet on any device, and from any location – it isn’t where you work, it’s what you can do.

5. Increase engagement

Through the use of specialist enterprise social networks, such as Yammer, which is used by more than eight million people worldwide, employers are able to communicate to their employees in a more relaxed tone. Employees are also able to contribute and join discussions, engaging with the business.

6. Simplify user access

Having many sign-in details for various online applications can be, frankly, annoying. For security reasons, as well as employee retention, Microsoft Azure gives users secure access to what they need. With single sign-on (SSO), users only need to remember details for one log-in to access thousands of cloud applications.

7. Training

Campaign for Learning reports that a business with over 50 employees could potentially lose £165,000 a year because of poor basic skills. Interactive training is now easier thanks to technology, which also ensures employees stay engaged throughout the process. Skype for Business and Microsoft Surface Hub allow colleagues to share screens and speak in groups or to other individuals.

Training is beneficial to an organisation as well as an employee. A trained employee feels they are being invested in for the long-term. In return, the business gets an enthusiastic and productive employee.

8. Something new and exciting

To many people, the idea of a new piece of technology brings a sense of excitement. This isn’t any different in the work-place. New devices or technology that affect the way employees do their work can bring efficiency, and sometimes bringing a fresh, new aspect to an employee’s work routine.

9. Gamification

Gamification is slowly changing the way businesses learn and grow by applying engaging elements of game theory to non-game contexts in the workplace. CRM Gamified works in conjunction with Microsoft Dynamics CRM, providing a fun, game-like way of meeting targets and improving sales and services performance.

10. Attract the right employees

It starts at the beginning. Attracting the right employees. The use of old technology and methods in an organisation can be frustrating and result in less productivity. When an organisation advertises the fact that they have a flexible workplace, it shows that they are innovative and forward-thinking. Employees are attracted by the opportunity to work from home on the latest technologies.

Today’s workforce is the most technologically-minded yet. Read our case study on one of the UK’s high street giants and discover how OCG helped them to improve their employee engagement.